Solar Planning Exemptions

The Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 3) Regulations 2022 and the supporting Planning and Development (Solar Safeguarding Zone) Regulations 2022 which are now in effect, combine to provide updated provisions regarding planning exemptions for rooftop solar installations.

The Planning and Development (Solar Safeguarding Zone) Regulations 2022 set out 43 Solar Safeguarding Zones (SSZs) which are areas around airports, aerodromes or helipads in which there is a potential for glint or glare from solar panels to impact aviation safety. A square metre limit on rooftop solar panels applies within these zones to all classes of development other than houses. The SSZs are available for viewing here: Solar Safeguarding Zones Map.

Copies of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 3) Regulations 2022 and the supporting Planning and Development (Solar Safeguarding Zone) Regulations 2022 are available on the Irish Statute Book website.

GSI Groundwater Flood Data

Groundwater flood data has been added to This data was prepared by Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin and the Institute of Technology Carlow for the GWFlood Project, 2016 – 2019.

The maps were prepared in order to address the deficit of groundwater flood data and to assist stakeholders to make scientifically informed decisions regarding groundwater flood risk in Ireland. The maps do not, and are not intended to, constitute advice. Professional or specialist advice should be sought before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the flood maps.

For contextual information including Guidance Notes, Project Report and Project Website please see the links below:

Guidance Notes


Groundwater Flooding

Geological Survey Ireland

Groundwater floods occur when the water stored beneath the ground rises above the land surface. In Ireland, the most extensive form of groundwater flooding is related to prolonged rainfall causing water table rise in the limestone lowland areas in the west of the country.

The Groundwater Flood Probability Maps shows the probabilistic flood extent of groundwater flooding in limestone regions.  These maps are focussed primarily (but not entirely) on flooding at seasonally flooded wetlands known as turloughs. It should be noted that the predictive maps are limited to locations where the flood pattern was detectable and capable of being hydrologically modelled to a sufficient level of confidence.

The Maximum Historic Groundwater flood map shows maximum observed flood extents for locations of recurrent groundwater flooding in limestone regions. The map is primarily based on the winter 2015/2016 flood event, which in most areas represented the largest groundwater flood event on record.  The Winter 2015/2016 Surface Water Flooding map shows fluvial (rivers) and pluvial (rain) floods in Ireland, excluding urban areas, during the 2015/2016 flood event.

OPW Flood Mapping

CFRAM and ICPSS Flood Maps

The CFRAM Flood Maps available on this website were produced through the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme and through other projects with the Local Authorities. They have been developed in accordance with the definition of the Flood Zones as set out in the Guidelines on the Planning System and Flood Risk Management (DHPLG/OPW, 2009). Guidance on the Flood Maps is available at and further information on the flood maps and the CFRAM Programme is available at . It is a condition of use of the Flood Maps on the map-viewer that you agree to be bound by the disclaimer and other terms and conditions for use of the Flood Maps .

The Irish Coastal Protection Strategy Study (ICPSS) is a national study that was commissioned in 2003 with the objective of providing information to support decision making about how best to manage risks associated with coastal flooding and coastal erosion. The Study was completed in 2013 and provides strategic current scenario and future scenario (up to 2100) coastal flood hazard maps and strategic coastal erosion maps for the national coastline. This major study provides invaluable and essential information required to inform policy in this area, particularly for local authorities in relation to the proper planning and development of coastal areas.